Mexico Feels "Disappointed" by George Bush
Source: Le Figaro
Huzzah! Here's to many disappointments to come. Welcome to bizarro world, this is the upside down, topsy turvy world as viewed through the eyes of the Mexican government.
Passage of the law financing the construction of a wall along the United States' southern frontier provokes tension.So even Mexico regards a temporary worker program as retarded?
Even before his inauguration, scheduled to take place December 1st, incoming Mexican President Felip Calderon knows that he has a difficult job ahead of him. In domestic policy, he will inherit a country at once divided by a two month electoral dispute with left wing candidate Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador and riven by violent social conflict. External affairs are no less difficult, with Mexico officially "angry" with the United States, a country with which it shares a 3000 kilometer frontier and that receives 90% of its exports.
At the origin of Mexican government anger is the passage of a law, last Wednesday, that finances the construction of 1200 kilometer wall along the southern frontier of the United States. The law represents a slap in the face for departing President Vicente Fox, who prided himself on solving the problem of illegal immigration thanks to his good relations with George Bush. The American President long encouraged his Mexican counterpart in the belief that neither he nor the Senate would ratify Congress' border law, first voted upon several months ago. The approach of mid-term elections has changed all that. Finding itself in a delicate position, the Republican camp is backing this repressive law in an attempt to seduce the hardcore fringe of its electorate.
"We feel let down by Washington, which has always assured us of its desire for a comprehensive reform [réforme globale] combining the struggle against illegal immigration and a project for regularizing those illegals already living in the United States," said Mexican Foreign Minister, Luis Ernesto Derbez, in an interview with Le Figaro. For Derbez, the new law is irrational: their own chambers of commerce say that American companies need [nb: an additional] 700,000 unskilled laborers per year. "The American government has allowed the extreme right [nb: !] to dominate the debate over immigration by directly relating it to questions of security and terrorism," added the Minister. He admits that Vicente Fox is guilty of naiveté by continuing to believe in an "all or nothing" comprehensive reform package. "Mexico did not realize that the Spetember 11 attacks had changed the way American authorities considered the question of immigration," Derbez said. In order to protest against the manipulation of this law, the President-elect, Felipe Calderon, is reluctant to visit the United States before his inauguration. Calderon has already visited nine Latin American countries and has scheduled a forthcoming trip to Canada.
"It's an administrative headache"
"The worst is that this law will not even bring any electoral advantage," Derbez complained. "The Republicans will probably lose control of Congress, and the resulting political paralysis kills any hope of moving forward on the matter before the next presidential elections in the US." George Bush's promise to crate a temporary worker program administerd by the two governments strikes him as unrealistic: "We already have one with Canada involving 25,000 contracts and it's already an administrative headache. Imagine what it would be like if we had to deal with the 700,000 workers required by the American economy!"
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